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“The best vis I have ever dive”

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Layang Layang Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Layang Layang
Reviewed 2 September 2017

I join a group of divers in Layang Layang. Not the peak season, but it was OK. The vis was truely amazing. The deep blue dive was priceless. So marvelous and serene, and always rewarded with beautiful coral towards the end of dives.
The dive centre staff was friendly and accommodative. The resort staff were all smiley faces!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank MrHanns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 120 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2017 via mobile

So with 10 dive buddies we did this dive trip to Layang Layang. This is also called the Swallow Reef and is located an hours flight time from Kota Kinabalu, in the state of Sabah, Malaysia.

Layang Layang is a Malaysian Navy Base reclaimed from a small island. It has a small airstrip used by both and Navy and also MAS wings , subsidiary of Malaysian Airlines to fly their ATR 72-500 twice a week to this small island. It has now become the divers Mecca to see the Hammer head Sharks.
The resort is open I think 6/7 months a year. The peak season to dive is March - June. Though some web sites tell you till Sept also but the probability of seeing the Hammerhead Sharks is max in March - June only.
There is only one small quaint resort there 'Avillion Island Resort'. He resort is adjacent to the 7233 feet long airstrip. The resort doubles up as the Airport too.
The Resort has a nice Bar 'Hammerhead' Bar, the drinks are quite reasonably priced considering everything has to be flown in to the resort twice a week only.
It's has a nice pool, spa.

The island is home to a small fantastic Bird reserve island nearby where you can see the nesting Back Naped Terns, Great Crested Terns, Sooty Terns , Lesser Frigate Birds, Pacific Golden Plover and the Brown Booby to name a few.
This place is called the swallows Reef also because of the abundance of the Migratory Barn Swallows you see on the island. They are very tame and adapt to humans well.

The dive centre is well equipped and during season goes full and offers the full range of dive certification courses along with gear rental.
The dive instructors are very friendly and double up as Dive masters to take you out diving.
There is a jetty from which the dive masters take out the diving groups for dives on boats.
Night dives are not part of the package and you need to pay 150 MYR and a minimum of 4 divers fir the night dives.

The one issue to watch out for is internet and mobile connectivity.
The internet wifi at the resort (only way) is terrible to say the least and the only cell network that works there is 'celcom'. Nothing else.
This issue has made me give this place 4 stars but others may give it 5 stars also because of this. :).

All in all a fantastic place to go diving in season to see the Hammerheads and host of other marine life and to really unwind with nice walks and seeing amazing sunsets.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
4  Thank PBararia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2017 via mobile

Too much love this island this is my return since 2012-2017 every single year
Spot hammerhead and wonderful coral marine life here
Very peaceful and quiet island
meal was awesome come with 5meal per day

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
Thank 900tomn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2017

I've been in Layaag Layang last May, during hammerhead sensor. It's a simple and honest 3 star resort with friendly staff and plenty of food, often with too much coconut milk and lemongrass for my european palate but who needs Michelin stars with this exquisite diving? Great reefs with lovely corals, plenty of fish, mantas, white-tips, grey reef Sharks and the jewell in the crown, those astounding hammaerhead schools, one in a lifetime experience! Every dive was amazing and I'm rather demanding as I've been diving for almost 20 years all around the world. A special thanks to our excellent divemaster, Ciryl, for making this experience even better. Worth every one of the 36 hours travelling to get there!

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with friends
2  Thank Maria João B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2017 via mobile

I was a return visitor to Layang Layang having been last year and giving the resort a five star rave review but am certainly unable to repeat such a positive review this year
So let's start with the positives
The Staff are absolutely fantastic and will greet you every morning with a smile, however if you don't find out there names and tell them yours then you can't fell hard done by for the relationship never to exceed " Good morning Sir " take the time to get to know them and it'll greatly enhance your experience.
The food and it's presentation I thought was excellent and varied with something for every one.
The diving was hit and miss this year and certainly wouldn't stand up to my experiences last year but then you roll the dice and take your chances, I was there solely for Hammer encounters but water was warm and sightings were few, at a distance and fleeting. The reef itself isn't great and whilst the walls can be good with reef shark and manta sightings, if your going for Hammers you've got to be in the blue !!!
The resort is still a hospitality industry and it is in this regard that the Management fails spectacularly, I can put up with cockroaches in the bathroom ( you are after all on an island in the middle of the Indian ocean ) but considering we booked 4 months in advance and had to pay nearly two months in advance I didn't think it very professional for the resort to run out of beer pre dinner on the second night ! and wasn't st all impressed on asking to speak to the manager ( who was never seen other than at meal times, where he not once asked anyone how things were or if they required anything, I was under the impression this was a hospitality industry ) we were informed he would speak to us when he finished eating ! once in attendance he simply said " sorry we are out of beer " when asked why it didn't come on the half empty flight we were on ? he informed us that it was a logistical issue as there were more than 30 passagers on board ( I would suggest he try an transport two sets of diving equipment through 3 different countries on 4 flights and he would appreciate logistics ) after being inform by a number of people that complaints would be made, 2 slabs of beer appeared in a miracle befitting biblical times, it was the staffs beer apparently (surprisingly they didn't how anything about it when asked ) 3 days later when the next flight landed with 12 persons on board ( not the logistical problem of 30 ) this "manager" had on board one slab of beer ! 24 cans of beer for over 30 people, the majority of who would be Leaving on on the next flight.
When the island was restocked a further 3 days later the "manager" offered to buy 3 of us ( one of which had drank wine thus far ) A beer !! at a cost to him of circa $3, I paid for my own.
For this situation to develop considering the pre notice he has of guest arrivals displays ineptitude but his total disregard for the situation once it had occurred displayed a level of unprofessionalism and disregard for his Clients, most of whom who like me had travelled a long way and spent a lot of money to be treated like we didn't matter.
I was far from the only person leaving Layang Layang to voice the opinion that they wouldn't return.
So in conclusion if you've been before, seen shark and had a good experience don't return it really does feel like the island is being run down by the management

Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
5  Thank James O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrence L, General Manager at Layang Layang Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2017

Dear James,

Thank you for your feedback.

We apologize for running out of beer as there was a delay in our supply.

I have taken note of your comments and regret that the ineptitude behaviour towards guest by our manager.

We value your support for returning to Layang Layang and will address this matter immediately to avoid such recurrence.

We will constantly improve ourselves to better enhance the experience of our guest and once again please accept our sincere apologies.

Thank you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Layang Layang Island Resort

Address: Layang Layang 88005, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Layang Layang
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Layang Layang
Price Range: €194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Layang Layang Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is an exclusive resort that dominates the Layang Layang island - an oceanic atoll of Spratly Islands situated approximately 300km northwest of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Fondly known as "The Jewel of the Borneo Banks", it is truly a diver's paradise. As many as 14 coral reefs have formed here, creating a breathtaking underwater scenery. The dive sites are well known for the intriguing hammerhead sharks and pygmy seahorses among other rare creatures. An hour's flight north of Kota Kinabalu, the island on which Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd nestled lies in 2,000m of ocean and due partly to the depth, this atoll has become famous for sightings of large pelagic species and for wall diving. Layang Layang Island Resort Sdn Bhd is the only resort on the island besides a Royal Malaysia Navy base. The resort, designed to look like the traditional Long House comprises 86 cosy rooms, restaurant and bar, outdoor swimming pool, Dive Center with certified diving instructors and a variety of diving courses among other facilities for modern comforts. Come for the exclusive and intriguing diving experience at this remote destination out of the world, where rare and uncommon underwater creature awaits you! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Avillion Layang Layang Island Hotel Layang Layang
Layang Island Hotel

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